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Fan vote to determine new name for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees; 5 finalists revealed

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees are -- shockingly, I know -- the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate. I've long lamented minor-league teams that have the same name as the major-league club instead of some awesome/obscure nickname (Lugnuts! Iron Pigs! Biscuits! Sand Gnats!), so I'm pleased to pass along that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ballclub is getting a new name. We just don't know the exact name just yet.

Fans can vote over on MiLB.com's SWB Yankees site. Here are the choices, along with explanations the MiLB.com site provided:

Blast
The Blast combines the over-the-top fun of MiLB with the tough miners who unearth coal to fuel America's industrial revolution. It's also the sound of the Yankees of tomorrow blasting home runs in front of a packed house at PNC Field.

Black Diamond Bears
Paying homage of the rich coal mining history of the SWB area combined with the ferociousness of the black bear, no one will want to mess with them on the field. The natural setting of PNC Field will be the perfect den for the Black Diamond Bears.

Fireflies
Watch the Fireflies light up the night sky at PNC Field in 2013. The state insect of Pennsylvania is a sure sign of summer time in NEPA. Families will have a glowing good time at the ballpark!

RailRiders
All aboard! We're not just blowing steam with this one. The SWB express isn't your ordinary ride on the rails. We'll be charting our own course as we speed our way into the minds and hearts of NEPA baseball fans. Kids can join the Lil' Conductors Club or you can shop for your favorite team gear at the Station.

Porcupines
This tough as “Quills” animal is a renegade native to Northeast Pennsylvania. The fighting, resilient spirit of the porcupine is the same spirit indicative to our area. With Pulled Porky-Pine Sandwiches, fans are sure enjoy the fun, creative nature that only Minor League Baseball can bring to the community.

Trolley Frogs
Known as the "Electric City," Scranton is home of America's very first electric trolley car. A trolley frog is not only a mechanical part of a trolley, it takes us into a creative world of frogs, lily pads and snapping tongues.

I love these choices because none of them are traditional sports team names. The Black Diamond Bears (due to "Bears") comes the closest to a mainstream name, so it would be my last choice. The voting page gives you a chance to list your top three. I think I'll go with Trolley Frogs first, Fireflies second and Porcupines third.

Hat-tip: Hardball Talk

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